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Review of Martha Mumford’s ‘Happy Birthday, Royal Baby!’

Happy Birthday Royal Baby coverAfter the huge success of Martha Mumford’s book Shhh! Don’t Wake the Royal Baby! last July, which coincided with the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first baby, Happy Birthday, Royal Baby! has been released in time to celebrate Prince George’s upcoming first birthday.

The blurb of the book states: ‘The Royal Palace is in chaos yet again – not since the Royal Baby’s birth has there been so much excitement! Why? Well it’s the Royal Baby’s first birthday, of course, and the palace is awash with activity! There’s a cake to bake, balloons to blow-up, presents to wrap…the Queen may even do a spot of parachuting – it is a special occasion, after all.’

This picture book takes readers through the countless preparations for the royal baby’s first birthday celebrations, including the making of a very large jam-filled birthday cake, enough to feed the hundreds of special guests, the blowing up of dinosaur-shaped balloons and the setting up of a bouncy castle.

Once the birthday party begins, there are appropriately royal-related party games, such as ‘pass the peacock’ and ‘pin the tail on the corgi’, but the royal baby continues to cry, much to the confusion of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Martha Mumford imaginatively recreates the scene that we all remember so well of The Queen from the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics in the book, in order for The Queen to cheer up her great-grandson on his first birthday! It is also interesting to see how the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, has been incorporated into the book as the royal baby’s party planner.

The illustrations by Ada Grey are brilliantly colourful, detailed, and all of the characters show a remarkable likeness to members of the royal family and the Middleton family. After creating such a strong style in Shhh! Don’t Wake the Royal Baby!, which was her first illustration book for Bloomsbury, Grey has successfully applied her creative interpretation of the royals once again. I particularly love Grey’s illustrations of The Queen’s numerous corgis which pop up on every page of the book in different whimsical situations and wearing party hats.

With such colourful images, great humour and an easy to read storyline, this picture book is perfect for any little prince or princess.

Happy Birthday, Royal Baby! was published by Bloomsbury Publishing and is available to purchase now for £6.99 in paperback and as an ebook online and in stores.

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